Most of us have at least one situations we fear more than makes sense. A clinical diagnosis of one of Phobic Disorders is appropriate only if the avoidance exerts a significant negative impact on your life. Suppose you have an irrational fear of flying but don’t have to travel for your work. You may never get to Europe, but you can certainly have a very satisfying life without ever boarding an airplane.
In contrast, if you are a sportscaster who has to cover games all across the country, the fear of flying will result in an awful lot of highway mileage, a change in careers, or white knuckling the flights. A fear of earthquakes is no big deal if you live in the East Coast but may make your life an unrelieved misery if you are stuck in California.
Similarly, some degree of social anxiety is more rule than exception for most people Very few of us are completely comfortable when giving a speech or having to mingle with strangers at a party. In clinical Social Phobia, however, the anxiety becomes torture and impairs your ability to perform or to put yourself in lay at all.
Most socially anxious individuals rationalize away their avoidance you decline the party invitation because you are “busy”. avoid the blind date because you are overworked, and refuse the job interview because you don’t want extra responsibility.
In judging whether social avoidance is causing you trouble, please take into account all the wonderful, experiences in life you may be missing. Don’t justify avoidance as being a matter of taste of habit.